TV audiences can’t get enough news coverage of Donald Trump. Reporting on pretty much anything else is ratings poison.
Cable networks have figured out how to successfully capitalize on Trump, but viewership for NBC, ABC and CBS newscasts have declined as much as 14 percent this year among coveted younger viewers. Broadcasters’ strategy of offering a wider range of stories — from human interest to health and local crime — is falling flat with some viewers who have migrated to cable news for coverage of White House drama.
“In the current news environment, in which few headlines are being made that are unrelated to the Trump administration, the narrower agenda of the cable channels is a better fit,” said Andrew Tyndall, author of a website that monitors broadcast nightly newscasts.
In recent years, cable news channels have narrowed their scopes to focus on politics, and that’s paying off in the ratings.